Tag:Jimbo Fisher
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:29 pm
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National notes: Movers & shakers in team rankings

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's getting down to crunch time on the recruiting trail, with just over a month until National Signing Day. With most of the Holiday season over with and attention turned to the new year, things are about to pick up even more as the decommits, recommits and surprises start happening.

The Eye on Recruiting has already given you some players ticketed for a rise on offense and defense in the recruiting rankings and now it's time to cast a critical eye on the teams that are looking to move up and a few that could be on their way down.

Team rankings movers

Alabama

Is there a better recruiter than Nick Saban? Currently, it's hard to argue with the man's success on the field and on the recruiting trail. He could be putting together an all-time great class in 2012 and just recently added lineman Alphonse Taylor and highly regarded running back T.J. Yeldon. Though they already have a quarterback in Alec Morris, the Tide are heavily pursuing dual-threat signal-caller Jameis Winston, one of the best players in the state and at his position, and top safety Landon Collins. If they can add Winston and close in on a few other top targets, Saban's team could vault to the top of the team rankings when everybody signs on the dotted line.

Ohio State

In just a short amount of time, Urban Meyer has made his presence felt in Columbus and nationally thanks to his recruiting acumen. The biggest splash has been made along the defensive line, where's he's grabbed commitments from the number three player in the country Noah Spence, tackle Tommy Schutt and end Se'Von Pittman. Though the NCAA handed out a bowl ban to the program, that probably won't deter too many recruits and playing for Meyer will be enough for some of them. They could land top 100 players like offensive tackle Jordan Diamond and athlete Davonte Neal so expect the Buckeyes to close well.

Notre Dame

The Irish and Brian Kelly put together a great group of defensive lineman last year and appear to have a balanced group of quality players at every position this year. California commits Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard seem solid and can make an impact right away after getting aclimated to South Bend. As is usual for Notre Dame, plenty of top recruits like Nelson Agholor, Arik Armstead and Gunner Kiel have the Irish on their short list and could turn a good class into a great one.

USC

The Trojans' great year in 2011 has proven they're one of the few schools who can shake off harsh NCAA sanctions and still play and recruit well. Lane Kiffin has a plan to deal with scholarship reductions and it will be put to the test in 2012 with 2012 being the first class limited to 15 players. USC has already signed a few top players early, such as linebacker Scott Starr and top JUCO safety Gerald Bowman. They have a chance at some top national guys Agholor and Andrus Peat so it's possible for it to be a small but great recruiting class for the Trojans.

California

Like their Pac-12 counterparts, the Bears could come on strong late with some top recruits. They're in good position to land Armstead and most consider five-star safety Shaq Thompson a lock to go to Berkeley. Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi is a tremendous recruiter and with a great year out West for talent, should do pretty well. Cal's current group of commits, with quarterback Zach Kline and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, is a good start.

Team rankings shakers

Florida State

This is still a very good group of players but there's no doubt that the Seminoles class has taken hit in the past few weeks - thanks in large part to Alabama. Defensive end Chris Casher is a solid building block but future teammate Mario Edwards is looking hard at Oklahoma and Texas. Losing Winston would be a huge blow and there's a slim chance some, like Dante Fowler and Mario Pender, could pull a switch on Signing Day. Jimbo Fisher has done very well with the 2012 class but fans have a reason to be a little nervous at how they'll close.

Florida

A 6-6 season and losing offensive coordinator (and noted recruiter) Charlie Weis to Kansas have caused the Gators to slip a little. It still looks like they'll be a lock for a top 10 class come February with so many top 100 recruits but there's no doubt the uncertainty surrounding the program could come back to bite them. The loss of Weis in particular could hurt with possible pledges like Agholor and put a damper on Will Muschamp's first full recruiting class. Expectations are high with Meyer doing what he's doing in Columbus so a class that isn't filled with five-stars will further the perception that the program is slipping a bit.

Auburn

Will there be a meltdown on the Plains? It seems as though things haven't been going the Tigers' way recently with rival Alabama in the national championship game and stealing top commit in Yeldon. On top of that, defensive coordinator Ted Roof is gone and big time offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn surprisingly moved on to a head coaching job. This is still a very good class but they'll need to hold the current group together as well as snag a few top recruits to help reload an already young team.

Teams sitting pretty

Texas

Mack Brown has pulled in some impressive recruiting classes to Austin but this may be his best yet. The country's top running back and second-ranked wide receiver are headed to the 40 Acres and the depth of the group is one of the reasons why the Longhorns are the top ranked team in the latest Maxpreps rankings. There's no doubt that they should finish among the top three but it still remains to be seen if they can keep the top spot. Texas isn't completely done recruiting and could add a few impact players between now and Signing Day.

Michigan

Brady Hoke put together the bulk of this class before even coaching a game and has occupied the top team spot for most of the year. From top-to-bottom this might be the best class in the country with plenty of players who should come in and make an impact early  The Wolverines have seemingly filled all their holes and are still in the running for a few national recruits that could bolster their ranking so Michigan definitely has a shot at being ranked as the best.

Mora turning heads in Westwood

As soon as Jim Mora was hired in Westwood, the first question would be how well could the longtime NFL coach recruit at the college level? As it turns out, pretty well if early indications are to hold up in the future.

Mora's best recruiting job was the hiring of his assistants, notably ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, secondary coach Demetrice Martin  and former Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The trio, among others, have plenty of West Coast ties and have allowed the staff to hit the ground running despite being hired so late in the game. Keep an eye on this group poaching a few recruits from the Sun Devils once-promising class as well as a few Los Angeles natives.

December has seen the Bruins' class add several good players. Defensive backs Marcus Rios and Ishamel Adams are two players who could play early on defense and landing linebacker Kenny Orjioke out of Atlanta is a solid get for the staff. For the most part, the commitments prior to the new staff have hung in and seem sold on the direction of the program.

Though they're not anywhere close to getting elite talent, the signs out of UCLA are encouraging for a relatively inexperienced staff. The problem in the past has not been about recruiting however, it's been talent development and in that area things are still TBD. Still, given the progress on the recruiting trail, the coaching change has given plenty of Bruin fans something to smile about in a relatively dour year.

Video of week

I'm headed out to the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta this year, which features some of the top juniors (class of 2013) in the state of Georgia. Among the headliners this week is linebacker Reuben Foster, an Alabama commit and easily one of - if not the - top players at his position next year. Here's some of his highlights:

Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 1:06 pm
 

2013 defensive tackle commits to Florida State

Posted by Bryan Fischer

This is a big week in the state of Florida with Miami travelling to Tallahassee to play Florida State in their annual rivalry game but the Seminoles have already scored in the recruiting game, picking up a commitment from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) defensive tackle Maquedius Bain.

"I spoke with the coaching staff and I'm so excited about the decision," Bain told Warchant.com. "I have been thinking about this for a while because I feel as a defensive tackle I love how I fit into the FSU defensive front. I can be a power rusher or the pass rusher they need. Not to mention the decision was made easier because my cousin Bobby Hart already at Florida State."

The Seminoles have aggressively moved on to recruiting several 2013 targets and grabbing one from the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Bain is a good start on the defensive line for Jimbo Fisher and company.

"I've always loved everything about the Florida State defense. It's athletic, aggressive, and fits my style because I can create a lot of problems in the 4-3 defensive scheme they run," Bain said. "I have built a great relationship with FSU assistant coach Eddie Gran and head coach Jimbo Fisher. They are like a big family. I think another thing that impressed me about the FSU defense is how relentless they are with their pressure to the quarterback and that's how I play."

Florida State now has three class of 2013 commitments. The program currently has a top five class in 2012 as Signing Day is only a few months away.



Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 4:23 pm
 

Recruiting & Realignment: How does it shake out?


Posted by Bryan Fischer

Peering into the crystal ball is something recruitniks do all the time. Which kid goes where? Is this recruit leaning toward school X or school Y? He talked about early playing time but he also wants to play with his friend in the Big Ten.

There are so many data points but it is still an inexact science. It's hard, but someone has to do it.

With all of the conference realignment news still swirling around college football, it's time once again to look into the future (The future? Yes, the future) and see - at least for the short term - what the landscape might look like. CBSSports.com has gathered up all of our experts on both the football side and the basketball side to project what all six of the current BCS automatic qualifying conferences will look like in 2014.

RapidReports: Up to the minute realignment updates
Eye on College Football: Conference Realignment Central

From the looks of it, no conference is going kaput. There is some shrinking and some bloating but all-in-all, it's just a few alteration from what the landscape will look like in 2012. Here are our projections for further conference realignment once the current wheeling and dealings are complete:

  • Big Ten -- remains at 12 teams
  • Pac-12 -- remains at 12 teams
  • SEC -- Adds Texas A&M and Virginia Tech
  • Big 12 -- Adds BYU to replace Texas A&M, but only in football
  • ACC -- Adds Connecticut, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Loses Virginia Tech to the SEC
  • Big East -- loses Connecticut, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Adds TCU, Houston and UCF; Navy and Air Force as football schools.

So we’ve got six conferences ranging in size from 12 to 16 programs. Which is strongest on the recruiting trail? Which is the deepest? Most top-heavy? Let’s take a look in alphabetical order.




Current picture: Four top 25 teams, 2-3 coaches on the hot seat.

#4 Florida State
#6 Virginia
#7 Miami
#17 Clemson

Future outlook: Jimbo Fisher appears to have the Seminoles back and recruiting like they were in the 1990's. Not only is Florida State attracting top talent, they're closing well and look to be a perennial contender with top five class after top five class. Clemson has recruited very well under Dabo Swinney but that hasn't translated into the bowl games the Tigers want to be playing in - which is one reason 2011 is make or break for him. One figures that Miami will get hit with serious NCAA sanctions that will hamper their recruiting abilities going forward. At the same time, the Hurricanes getting fewer players out of their own backyard could allow other schools in the conference to come in and grab better players - which could be a nice boost for schools such as Virginia or Maryland. The additions of UConn, Pitt and Syracuse don't do too much but do provide increased access to both states for the northern end of the conference.




Current picture: Three top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.

#2 Texas
#16 Oklahoma
#19 Missouri

Future outlook: The conference everybody is talking about will continue to be the conference everybody will be talking about. Texas and Oklahoma will still be Texas and Oklahoma as long as Mack Brown and Bob Stoops are on the sidelines for the Red River Rivalry every year. The Big 12 staying together means that schools such as Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri and others will continue to have access to a good number of Texas high school players - key in any success any of them have had over the years. Texas will still grab the best players in the state, that much won't change no matter what happens. There could be increased competition however, with Texas A&M being able to play the 'We're in the SEC' card. That probably hurts Oklahoma and Oklahoma State more than anyone. BYU will enjoy reaching into the Southwest even more than they currently do.




Current picture: Two top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.

#18 Cincinnati
#24 Rutgers

Future outlook: The realignment shakeup is all about the survival of the fittest but the Big East is, without a doubt, the least fit. They have had schools make waves in the national picture before but they've done so largely by coaching up players, not grabbing five-star recruits. Cincinnati has done a good job in the Midwest and should be helped out by nearby powerhouse Ohio State being down slightly. Rutgers is on shaky ground if Greg Schiano is let go but, if he sticks around, they should be a program that is helped by the trickle affect of Miami being down since they recruit Florida well. Not much is lost with the three schools going to the ACC, a good number of programs will still continue to recruit in states such as Pennsylvania and New York for players. TCU and West Virginia will probably be the top dogs in the rankings with both having strong ties to Texas and Dana Holgorsen's reputation proceeding him. UCF is a hidden gem that adds the most since Orlando has really come along in terms of number of BCS players the area produces.





Current picture: Five top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.

#1 Michigan
#13 Penn State
#20 Indiana
#21 Michigan State
#23 Wisconsin

Future outlook: Oh how the tables have been turned (off the field) in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. No one in the Big Ten has taken advantage of the turmoil in Columbus than the Wolverines under Brady Hoke. Given the quick turnaround, national prominence of the program and Hoke's ties to California, don't expect to see much drop off in Michigan recruiting over the next few years if they continue to win. Joe Paterno figures to retire at some point but Penn State sits in the middle of a talent-rich state and will continue to a solid job on the recruiting trail going forward. New Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson has done good job early on in locking up in-state talent and landing the number one quarterback in the country is a giant block to build on with future recruiting classes. Ohio State has been hampered with all that has gone but if they hire a top flight coach - as one would expect - all bets are off. The recruits in the state of Ohio alone will be able to keep them in the upper echelon of the conference regardless. Also watch out for Wisconsin, which will likely start getting better quality recruits the next few years following their success on the field.




Current picture: Two top 25 teams, five coaches on the hot seat.

#15 Arizona State
#25 Washington

Future outlook: A few strong years of West Coast talent will form the basis of a strong conference going forward. The biggest cause for concern is the number of coaches who are on the hot seat and can lose their jobs. For some programs, that means starting over in recruiting. For others, it could be an upgrade. With both Los Angeles programs each dealing with some issues, the amount of talent available to programs like Washington, Utah, Colorado and others has never been higher. NCAA issues at Oregon might hamper the Ducks a little but as long as they're wearing a crazy uniform and have Phil Knight writing checks, they'll be ok. USC has continued to get top talent despite and should rebound from sanctions quicker than most programs because of that. If anything though, California will become much more of a battleground state with more programs looking at the recruits coming out the next few years.




Current picture: Eight top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.

#3 Florida
#5 Alabama
#8 Texas A&M
#9 Auburn
#10 Virginia Tech
#11 LSU
#14 South Carolina
#22 Vanderbilt

Future outlook: The nation's best conference on the field and the recruiting trail will only get better with the additions of Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. It's scary, actually, to think about. LSU, the Mississippi schools, Florida and Alabama should all benefit to increased access to Texas and the Aggies won't be any slouch by telling recruits that they can stay home and play in the SEC. The same is true of the state of Virginia, which has annually produced plenty of great players. Other schools have taken advantage of Georgia's increase in FBS talent the past several years and even though UGA has a coach on the hot seat, they'll be able to recruit well because of who's nearby. Will Muschamp has shown there's no drop off in the state of Florida for the Gators going forward and the Alabama-Auburn rivalry is becoming just as fierce on the recruiting trail going forward as the Iron Bowl has been on the field. Bottom line, no one recruits like the SEC and they're only getting stronger with their recent additions.




Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:28 am
 

Ranking the ACC recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Florida State (Ranked number four overall by Maxpreps)

It's no surprise to see the Seminoles at the top of this list given what Jimbo Fisher has done on the recruiting trail recently. The defensive front seven players alone makes this a special group and that's not even considering grabbing the top dual-threat quarterback in Jameis Winston.

2. Miami (#5)

The Hurricanes have done excellent work with Al Golden's first full recruiting class, especially on the defensive side with players such as Jelani Hamilton and Raphael Kirby. There's a lot of speed in the class as one would expect given their South Florida talent base.

3. Virginia (#8)

How about the job Mike London has done on the recruiting trail? Michaei Moore is a top 100 defensive end he lured from Maryland and linebacker Kwontie Moore is a possible impact player early on given his size and speed.

4. Virginia Tech (#11)

Frank Beamer usually pulls several talented players out of the Tidewater and this class is no exception. Defensive end Jaraontay Jones and linebackers Deon Clarke and Trey Edmunds are a great building block for the Hokie defense.

5. Clemson (#13)

Despite Dabo Swinney being on the hot seat this season, the Clemson staff can still recruit. There's two top 100 players in the group and defensive back Travis Blanks should be able to make an impact early on with his terrific coverage skills.

6. Georgia Tech

It's a good year for talent in Georgia and north Florida and the Yellowjackets are taking advantage. Although they don't have an elite player, defensive end Junior Gnonkonde, linebacker Tyler Stargel and lineman Will Adams are several very good players in the class.

7. North Carolina

One of the more intriguing classes due to the resignation of Butch Davis and possible NCAA sanctions, the Tar Heels have done a solid job under the circumstances. Quarterback Patton Robinette is an Elite 11 quarterback and could be someone to build around in tough times.

8. Maryland

Randy Edsall has taken some heat for not connecting with several local high schools but he's grabbed some good local athletes nevertheless. Quarterback Shawn Petty has impressed during the summer and Mike Madaras is an offensive lineman anybody would love to have.

9. Duke

The Blue Devils have to play by a second set of rules given their admissions standards so evaluation is key in more ways than one. The current class is a good effort when viewed in that light and players like linebacker Deion Williams are a nice pick up.

10. N.C. State

You never hear much about the efforts of Tom O'Brien and staff but they seem to specialize in finding a few diamonds in the rough from year to year. Quarterback A.J. Doyle and defensive tackle K'Hadree Hooker are the anchors on either side of the ball for the Wolfpack.

11. Boston College

The Eagles look to have another solid, but under the radar, class at the halfway point in the recruiting cycle. They have an all-name candidate in Win Homer but also several other players who can develop on offense.

12. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons recently lost quarterback Alec Morris to Alabama but that should give you an indication as to how they evaluate. This is a smaller class that will likely see numbers rise as they see recruits go through their senior seasons.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Top quarterback Winston commits to Florida State

Posted by Bryan Fischer

If you are a college head coach looking for a Top 100 quarterback in the class of 2012, that ship has pretty much sailed.

The nation's top dual-threat quarterback and number two overall at the position, Hueytown (Ala.) signal-caller Jameis Winston made his decision and came off everyone's recruiting board as he verbally committed to Florida State Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm just comfortable that's where I want to be," Winston said on national television. "I'm very confident and see myself there in the near future."

The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder is a threat to beat you with his arm and his legs. He was recently named an MVP at the Elite 11 quarterback competition in California and has a terrific blend of athleticism that just gives defenses fits. Winston is still a bit raw but provides the Seminoles with a future star at the position.

While at the Elite 11 last month, he was able to get a glimpse at his future by asking current Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel about what it takes to be the quarterback in Tallahassee.

"I've asked him about Florida State and their program," Winston said. "He's been pretty real with me. He's told me the ups and downs - there's not many downs but he told me some."

Alabama and LSU were Winston's other finalists. Living about an hour from Tuscaloosa, it was tough to pass on the local football powerhouse but the talented quarterback is extremely happy with his decision even if a few others are not.

"Alabama fans, they're probably going to hate me," he said on television. "But my job right now is not to please the fans in general. I'm just focused on leading my high school team to a state championship."

Winston is also an excellent baseball player and has said he would bypass football if he was drafted high enough. Although he's projected to go anywhere to the middle rounds to the first, baseball was not the first thing on his mind Wednesday as he made his decision. If he does end up enrolling in college, he will play both sports and, by going to Florida State, will likely redshirt with Manuel firmly entrenched as the starter this season.

"I'm thinking about it, the baseball draft is coming soon," Winston said. "But right now I'm just focused on leading my team to a state championship and baseball will come later."

Last season as a junior, Winston threw for 2,334 yards and 17 touchdowns against just four interceptions. He is Jimbo Fisher's 16th commitment for the class of 2012 and second quarterback to join the fold.


Image for MaxPreps Video.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 4:12 pm
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Posted on: August 2, 2011 4:33 pm
 

Halfway to Signing Day: ACC Edition

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're right about halfway to Signing Day and that means it is time to take a look at the ACC and see how the conference is shaping up on the recruiting trail. Here's a few accolades for a few of the programs who are making head way (or not) at this point in August.

ACC Commitment List

Best class: Florida State

One of only two schools to have multiple Top 100 commits, Jimbo Fisher is once again building a very strong class for 2012. The Seminoles address both needs (such as at the kicker spots) and go after some really high quality athletes. Dante Fowler and Mario Edwards are a scary combo off the edges at defensive end and there are some weapons on offense too in speedster Marvin Bracy and Christo Kourtzidis. A lot of top players have Florida State on their short list so it will be interesting to see how much stronger this class can become.

Work left to do: Wake Forest

Obviously the Demon Deacons have the smallest class but they do have some solid pieces to build around, such as in quarterback Alec Morris. Jim Grobe and will likely see recruiting pick up once they get a chance to evaluate players off of their senior years which means they have a lot of work left to do with the season coming up.

Under the radar class: Virginia

Rival Virginia Tech has the most commitments in the country but it is Virginia that has quietly put together a very, very good class. Unlike the Hokies, Mike London has managed to grab a Top 100 member in end Michael Moore and has a terrific linebacker headed his way in Kwontie Moore. The program has done a good job of relying on the in-state talent base while not forgetting to hit nearby areas like Maryland/Washington D.C. The Cavaliers are already ranked in the top 25 and if they can close strong, it wouldn't be surprised to see them move up a little bit in the team rankings.

Top commit: Defensive end Mario Edwards (Denton, Texas), committed to Florida State.

Loading up: Virginia on offensive linemen (5), Miami on quarterbacks (3), Virginia Tech on defensive backs (3+).

Frequent Fliers: Duke, commitments from nine states.

Fence builders: Miami, 19 commitments from Florida.

Road to Signing Day storyline: North Carolina.

It will be very interesting to see how the Tar Heels proceed without Butch Davis at the helm. The NCAA news has been swirling around the program since last summer but it is important to keep in mind that by the time this signing day rolls around, recruits will know what type of sanctions (if any) the program will be hit with. They've got a solid class at the moment but given that the news of Davis' departure only recently happened, it could take a while to see how it affects the current class and recruiting going forward.

Top 25 Teams:

3. Florida State
5. Miami
10. Virginia Tech
12. Clemson
16. Virginia

Posted on: June 22, 2011 10:46 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 3:33 pm
 

Florida State gets second commitment for 2013

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Florida State is experiencing quite the recruiting haul with Jimbo Fisher's summer camp underway and attracting plenty of talent from all over Florida and the Southeast this week. While most schools use the camps as a time to grab commitments from their upcoming class, Fisher and the Seminoles managed to add to their 2013 class with the verbal pledge of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) cornerback Sojourn Shelton on Wednesday.

"Growing up down in south Florida you either want to go to Miami or Florida State and I always wanted to go to Florida State," Shelton told Noles247.com. "When I was at camp I knew I really loved Florida State."

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound defensive back is one of the top corners in South Florida despite being just a rising junior. He has drawn interest from Florida, Miami and Ohio State among others but they'll have to move on to other recruits for next year's class as Shelton is solidly committed to the Seminoles.

"This is where I want to be," he said. "I made that decision a year ago. I said if I come to camp and FSU offers me, then I was going to pull the trigger. Now I'm a 'Nole and I will be on signing day."

Shelton is actually the second commitment for Florida State's class of 2013, joining Prattville (Ala.) offensive lineman Austin Golson. While Signing Day is over a year and a half away for those two, Fisher and his staff are also busy building their class of 2012, which currently has 12 commitments.




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com